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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Somehow I am the bad guy?

To the anonymous commenters, I think there has been a misunderstanding. Please take a look at this photo of Waldo's neck, taken this morning. This is a direct result from a bark collar used on him. His neck is bald, irritated and also got infected. How can you look at this and tell me that I can't be upset?

ADDED NOTE: For the record, I have never used the word "abuse" in any of my posts. Abuse is a serious word that I would not use lightly. Please be clear that I am not accusing Dogma of abuse. My point seems to have been lost in the flurry of comments.

This situation is a result of poor communication and my inexperience with doggy boarding. This injury happened to him when he was there from Friday to Sunday, over a weekend and not when he was there for daycare during the day. I had asked about his food for the weekend but because I did not know that boarding/daycare places use bark collars, I did not know to ask. On the flip side, I was never told about this practice either.

I would like this discussion to be constructive. People should know to ask about these things. And if they are okay with it, then great! I am not a fan of those collars and yes, he is in obedience classes to help control his barking. He's been in obedience classes since we adopted him! But bassets are stubborn and he is a slow learner. =)

Anyway, someone please tell me how to prevent this from happening again. Is there a cream or a supplement he should be taking to help his skin from reacting this way? Are there other places like Melisa's recommendation of PetSmart Petshotel that will just let them bark to their hearts content?? What are the questions that need to be asked when boarding your dog?


Lori said...

According to Dogmas Terms and Policies which can be found on their website under reservations:
-DOGMA reserves the right to control nuisance barking humanely-

A bark collar used in the degree that it injures the animal is NOT "humanely". period.

Hope Waldo is doing better today


Anonymous said...

I am not saying you can't be upset none of us like to see anything happen to our dogs. That being said yes there are some dogs that have a reaction to the collar. That reaction does not have anything to do with any sort of abuse, laving it on too long, having it turned up to high, or allowing the dog to continue to bark with the collar on. There are just some dogs who have the reaction and it can happen after just one or two shocks from the collar. I know it must be hard for you to see that he had this reaction. Some would say it is inhumane to allow a dog to be in a crate all day. Which if where he would have to be without controling the barking. Also I read the you are talking about the is part of the game. When a dog plays with others there are going to be scratches and bite marks they are dogs and they play like dogs. If you do not wish for him to have scratches on him maybe you should consider leaving him at home and getting a dog walker. That way he will not have access to other dogs that may scratch or bite him.

Linda Seid Frembes said...

Hi Anonymous:

Thank you for leaving your comment. And thank you for letting me be upset about what happened. I have NEVER used the word "abuse" in any of my posts. I know the difference between abuse and what has happened to Waldo; there is a HUGE difference. Were they beating him or beglecting him? NO, they were not. I brought this up on the blog because this practice of using shock/bark collars is something I did not know about, nor did I know to ask about. This is the first daycare place I have used and didn't know the quesitons I needed to ask. There are probably many other people in the same unknowing situation. My point is that I wish I had had a CHOICE. If they had said "oh by the way, he is a barker and when it gets crazy this is what we use. We use collars that deliver a shock to him to make him stop." And to clear things up, this happened when he was boarded over a weekend and not when he was there for just a day. Had I known about the collars, I would have considered either finding alternate or changing our plans so that he could have come with us.

Lori said...

"Anonymous": The injury to his neck is more than just a reaction from one or two shocks from the collar. This has nothing to do with scratches, Linda accepts this is part of normal doggie play. The injury to his neck is not a scratch, or a bite, its a wound caused by a shock collar not used properly.

If the only option Dogma has for nuisance barkers is a shock collar than the public has every right to know this. The majority of the pet loving public out there would not accept this practice.

If Waldo was such a nuisance barker than someone shouldve called Linda and told her she needed to pick him up asap.


Lori said...


You did everything right, you walked the facilities, talked to the staff, used the daycare more than once prior to the weekend stay, referred to by someone you knew (who may not have known about the collars either)

I would do the same when looking for a new daycare/kennel. In addition tell them Waldo loves to hear himself sing and what do they do with such bundles? =) Some places will separate him, maybe place him in an area with only two or three dogs, if he doesnt settle in, some places will call you to pick him up because he is too much of a distraction to the other dogs. Its doggie daycare, dogs will bark, thats a given...

I would have never of known to ask about shock collars to control nuisance barking. You need supervision when using such collars, was that given?


Melisa said...

Hey Linda,
You have no idea how frustrated I was yesterday, at work all day and stealthily sneaking peeks at the hullaballoo going on over here without being able to comment!

Again, I agree with Lori in that a bark collar that *injures* the dog isn't "humane" and yes, you did have the right to be upset about it.

You had already made the point that (although you OR I wouldn't have thought about it: but now we would, right?) you could have asked if they used them and they would have told you had you asked, but just that you didn't know they were going to put one on Waldo was a big surprise when you got him home. I would have been upset too.

The marks on his neck were not from bites or scratches that came from another dog; if they were, there is not enough supervision there because if an altercation (even in play) that might have caused that had been witnessed by a human, it would have behooved them to tell you that when you picked Waldo up, even in passing: "Oh my goodness, Waldo really had a great time wrestling with Daisy: she really got him one time, but they were just playing!"

You have handled the (initial) harsh posts from the anonymous posters very gracefully and I admire that. It IS good that you posted something about which a dialogue can be started!

Have a good day! :)

Linda Seid Frembes said...

Sorry for the delay on replying from yesterday. I installed the Firefox browser on my computer and that seems to have messed up a long chain of things on my computer.

Lori, I do not know what supervision was given when he had the collar on. The conversation did not get that far. I was so upset that my mind was not in the right place to ask detailed questions.

Melisa, thanks for the nice post. I wish that the anonymous folks would sign their posts, but I am fine with it unless it gets nasty. I am up for discussing anything as long as the conversation remains informative and not a personal attack.

A few people have posted or emailed me saying that of course boarding places will use bark/shock collars to control barking. My biggest question is: how do you know this unless you are told by the boarding staff? Is this standard industry practice???

I don't use boarding places very often, so I don't know the inside scoop on these matters. I just wish I would have known beforehand, or at least been told when I picked him up on Sunday.